The price of shop and office rents has remained high despite the current economic crisis, a global switch to online shopping and the availability of more desirable premises in the Blighs shopping development. Add to that the ever increasing cost of parking in the town and we’re soon going to get to a point where people don’t bother coming into town at all.
This is my worry. I believe that there is going to be a time in the near future where too many shops have closed and new ones will be unwilling to open due to the lack of trade in Sevenoaks. Who wants to be the only shop in a row of empty buildings?
The District Council has admitted that they use parking charges as a revenue collecting device rather than a means of covering the cost of providing an essential community service. However, if they have a target of how much money they need to raise from parking then they will have to keep on increasing charges to allow for the shortfall in visitors. This will create a never ending cycle which will see charges spiral out of all reasonableness and a total collapse of visitor numbers.
It’s not just about parking
There is more to this than parking charges and even shop rents. I believe that we need to get together as a community and search for solutions to this problem. I have a few ideas but I’d like to hear what others have to say. If you would like to get involved with saving our town then Contact Us.